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flightless steamerduck

Falkland Flightless Steamerduck

Eine der einzigen einheimischen Arten der Falklandinseln, die von Charles Darwin untersucht wurde

Informationen über Falkland Flightless Steamerduck

Our Expert Says… "Only recently confirmed as a distinct species from the Patagonian flightless steamer duck, these charming creatures are often found around Port Stanley and they are very obliging to photographers seeming to enjoy the attention and patiently giving everyone excellent shots!"

The Falkland steamer duck - also known as the flightless steamer duck - is one of only 2 native species of birds that are endemic to the Falkland Islands. This flightless bird has mostly-dark gray plumage, but with a distinctive white stripe behind its eyes.

Charles Darwin described the steamer duck when he visited the Falklands in 1833, and he noted that: “[t]hese clumsy, loggerheaded ducks make such a noise and splashing, that the effect is exceedingly curious.”

Called steamer ducks for the way in which they use their short wings like paddle steamer wheels to help them move quickly along the water’s surface, they eat shellfish that they find among the rocks and seaweed beds, cracking the shells open with their sturdy beaks.

It can be easy to misidentify the Flying steamer duck (that also occurs in the Falklands) with the Falkland steamer duck because they look very similar, share the same habitat, and, despite the name, the flying steamer duck rarely actually flies! Until recently it was considered to be a sub-species of the Patagonian form. Genetic studies show that they made their way from southern Chile and Argentina around 2 million years ago and now it is considered to be a separate species.

Expert naturalist guides will help you identify which is which.

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flightless steamerduck

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